the late 1950s, Judge Elbert Tuttle delivered a commencement
address at Emory University in which he spelled out his concept
of the professional. Eric Berson read the following to the
members at the ATR meeting in Boston on May 2-3, 2003.
man is in essence one who provides service. But the service
he renders is something more than that of the laborer, even
the skilled laborer. It is a service that wells up from the
entire complex of his personality. True, some specialized and
highly developed techniques may be included, but their mode
of expression is given its deepest meaning by the personality
of the practitioner. In a very real sense his professional
service cannot be separate from his personal being. He has
no goods to sell, no land to till. His only asset is himself.
It turns out that there is no right price for service, for
what is a share of a man worth? If he does not contain the
quality of integrity, he is worthless. If he does, he is priceless.
The value is either nothing or it is infinite.
So do not try to set a price on yourselves. Do not measure out
your professional services on an apothecaries’ scale and
say, “Only this for so much.” Do not debase yourselves
by equating your souls to what they will bring in the market. Do
not be a miser, hoarding your talents and abilities and knowledge,
either among yourselves or in your dealings with your clients….
Rather be reckless and spendthrift, pouring out your talent to
all to whom it can be of service! Throw it away, waste it, and
in the spending it will be increased. Do not keep a watchful eye
lest you slip, and give away a little bit of what you might have
sold. Do not censor your thoughts to gain a wide audience. Like
love, talent is only useful in its expenditure, and it is never
exhausted. Certain it is that man must eat; so set what price you
must on your service. But never confuse the performance, which
is great, with the compensation, be it money, power, or fame, which
… The job is there, you will see it, and your strength is such, as you
graduate…that you need not consider what the task will cost you. It is
not enough that you do your duty. The richness of life lies in the performance
which is above and beyond the call of duty.1
F. Tuttle, Heroism in War and Peace, 13 Emory U.Q. 129, 138-59
TO CANON OF ETHICS